In Idaho one of the most common but misdiagnosed issues that people have with their lawn is the damage done by billbugs and their larvae. The problem is that the damage that billbugs cause isn’t seen until mid to late summer and people often associate the patchy brown spots in their lawn with disease or summer dryness rather than the work of this very resilient creature.
Adult billbug beetles are one of the most difficult pests to control because of their armor-type body which makes it more difficult for insecticides to be absorbed. They tend to winter on or near lawns that were infested the previous year. The adult billbugs are active in the spring but most of the visible damage that occurs to the lawn happens after their larvae, known as grubs, are hatched. Billbug grubs feed on grass roots and stems and cause extensive damage that causes dead brown patches in your lawn.
To determine if you have billbug activity in areas that appear drought stressed or patches of yellow or brown, grab the grass plants by the stem and give them a slight tug. If there is billbug activity the grass will come up easily and you will most likely find small grains of sand-like material at the base. This material, or frass as it is known, is the droppings from the insects.
The earlier you can treat for billbug infestation the more damage you can prevent. At Organic Solutions! Inc., we apply billbug control in the late spring before the grubs are able to hatch. We also apply organic fertilizer which helps to reduce the likelihood of billbug infestation. Keeping your lawn properly irrigated and fertilized will also help it recover from billbug grub damage.
If you would like to schedule a billbug treatment or have one of our experts come out and diagnose your lawn issues, please give us a call, 208-884-8986.
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